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Glaxo tops the table as the market hopes to feel better

<div>THE FTSE 100 ended down by 1.1 per cent yesterday, hitting its lowest closing level in more than two months, as weakness in banks, oil producers and miners offset minor resistance in some defensives. The index closed down 46.77 points at 4140.23, its third day of losses.<br /><br />Banks were under pressure on the economic outlook and following plans set out by chancellor Alistair Darling to strengthen regulation of financial markets to prevent a re-run of the credit crunch.<br /><br /><strong>Royal Bank of Scotland</strong>, <strong>Barclays</strong>, <strong>HSBC</strong> and <strong>Lloyds Banking Group</strong> fell between 1.9 and 4.5 per cent.<br /><br />Crude futures fell 2.2 per cent to below $61 and were headed to their sixth straight negative session, which pressurised shares in the energy sector.<br /><br />Oil and gas producers <strong>BP</strong>, <strong>BG Group</strong>, <strong>Royal Dutch Shell</strong>, <strong>Cairn Energy</strong> and <strong>Tullow Oil</strong> fell between 0.4 and 3 per cent.<br /><br /><strong>Tullow Oil</strong> dropped after saying it expected first-half revenue to fall 23 per cent on lower oil prices.<br /><br />Miners dipped against a backdrop of mixed metal prices and comments from South African Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu who said complete recovery from recession is still a way off.<br /><br /><strong>Fresnillo</strong>, <strong>Vedanta Resources</strong>, <strong>Lonmin</strong>, <strong>Xstrata</strong> and <strong>Anglo American</strong> shed between 3.8 and 4.5 per cent.<br /><br />In a sea of red, gains were seen in pharmaceuticals as investors bought into sectors perceived as safe bets in an extremely risk averse environment. <strong>GlaxoSmithKline</strong> added 1.6 per cent to be the biggest gainer on the index.<br /><br />Telecom giant <strong>Vodafone</strong> gained 0.9 per cent after reaching an agreement with Deutsche Telekom that allows it to use the German incumbent&rsquo;s high-speed VDSL network in Germany.<br /><br />Leaders from the Group of Eight major industrial nations warned against complacency over economic recovery at their annual summit in L&rsquo;Aquila, Italy yesterday.<br /><br />Highlighting the headwinds buffeting the economy, the Halifax house price index showed prices fell 0.5 per cent on the month in June to be 15 per cent lower in the three months to June compared to a year ago.<br /><br />&ldquo;I think there is considerable upside in equities on a 6-12 month view, but for that we are going to need profits in the cyclicals to recover, and we need to see valuations in the defensive areas of the market expand,&rdquo; said head of macro and strategy research Darren Winder.</div>